I think there will come a tipping point when these will suddenly become much easier. It is not, however, the 1130s.
1. In 1130, Anacletus II crowned Roger II as King of Sicily, winning Roger’s strong support for his papacy. What was the only hitch in this friendly agreement?
2. In 1132, the man who would become St. Malachy was made bishop of Armagh, with a mandate to bring the independent church of his home country in line with mainstream Christian practice. He was pretty successful! What was his country?
3. The King of England who came to the throne in 1135 would have a tough nineteen years on the throne, with a continual civil war with his cousin and rival to the crown, the Empress Matilda (not to be confused with his wife, Matilda of Boulogne). David I of Scotland, Robert of Gloucester, and various Welsh nobles also did their best to make his life miserable. He’s the only English king of his name; what is that name?
4. In 1136, Geoffrey of Monmouth wrote his Historia regum Britanniae, which established – for the next 400 years, anyway, that Britain was settled by Trojans led by the great-grandson of Aeneas and that King Lear flubbed by dividing his kingdom between Goneril and Regan at the expense of poor Cordelia. Geoffrey also popularized the history – the “history” – of Uther Pendragon and his highly successful son. Who was the highly successful son?
5. Also in 1136, a city in what is now northwestern Russia kicked out Vsevolod Mstislavich, severed its ties with Kiev, and launched an independent republic that would endure as a generally prosperous city-state through 1478. It wasn’t Moscow, which was at best a riverside village at this point. What city was it?
6. Among the richest and most powerful women of the European Middle Ages, she was the mother of a lofty set of children:
- Marie, Countess of Champagne
- Alix, Countess of Blois
- William IX, Count of Poitiers
- Henry the Young King of England
- Matilda, Duchess of Saxony
- Richard I, King of England
- Geoffrey II, Duke of Brittany
- Eleanor, Queen of Castile
- Joan, Queen of Sicily
- John, King of England
7. He “was the first sultan of Egypt and Syria and the founder of their Ayyubid dynasty. A Muslim of Kurdish origin,” he “led the Muslim opposition to the European Crusaders in the Levant. At the height of his power, his sultanate included Egypt, Syria, Mesopotamia, Hejaz, Yemen and other parts of North Africa.” He was famously admired by not just his friends, but his enemies as well. But in 1137, he was just a little baby boy. Who was this famous guy?
8. Also in 1137, Mara Takla Haymanot overthrew the rulers of the moribund Empire of Aksum and founded the Zagwe Dynasty. The empire he thereby created lasted with remarkable continuity up to the present, eventually becoming a modern African county. What country?
9. October 11, 1138 was a rough day for the northern Syrian city of Aleppo, as it suffered the third most deadly _____________ in recorded history.
10. Back to Sicily: In 1139, Pope Innocent II marched on Roger II’s armies to dispute his outlandish claim to be King of Sicily, Duke of Apulia, and Prince of Calabria. On July 22, Roger’s son ambushed the papal army and took Innocent prisoner. What do you suppose the Pope proclaimed in the Treaty of Mignano, on July 25?
Through History with The Monday Quiz: the 1120s
1. The White Ship carried the heir to the English throne. With him dead, the stage was set for a big old succession crisis.
2. The capital of Georgia is Tbilisi, then and now.
3. That's a Chinese painting.
4. Tyre was captured by Crusaders.
5. The Jin attack on the Song worked out just fine. They took over the capital and historic northern heartland of Song; the Song regrouped as "Southern Song."
6. A Saracen is basically Middle Ages speak for a Muslim.
7. Abelard of Bath was from English, but like all learned guys he wrote in Latin.
8. After the fall of Kaifeng (see #5), the biggest city in the world was probably Constantinople.
9. Bukhara is in Central Asia somewhere. I'll look it up. It's in Uzbekistan.
10. The Battle of São Mamede was, as that tilde over the "a" suggests, a seminal event in the history of Portugal.
The conquerer of the 1120s was Susan, who trampled all before her by a point or two! Will she carry her triumph into the 1130s? We'll find out!